Kevin Magnussen says he is proud of the way Haas bounced-back from its Melbourne disappointment to seal its joint-best finish in Formula 1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix. 

The American squad had been on course for big points haul in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix until a wheelgun failure caused both cars to retire within minutes of one another following the pitstop window.

But Magnussen turned in an impressive drive from sixth on the grid to finish fifth - the same position Romain Grosjean managed at the 2016 race in Sakhir. The Dane had particular praise for his pitstop crew, after the team avoided a repeat of its disastrous botched pair of pitstops in Melbourne. 

“Its a good way to start the championship because that’s what we’ve done today,” Magnussen said. “I’m really happy and really proud of the team. 

“Especially the guys in the pitstops who had a tough time between Australia and here. They went back to basics and today did what they do best. They really delivered and I’m extremely proud of them.”

Magnussen admitted he was worried about not being able to finish the race, after suffering damage to his VF-18 following contact while battling Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault on the opening lap. 

"I had fairly big contact with one of the Renault’s and it was OK for a while but then it started vibrating a lot. I was so nervous that it was going to brake so I started backing off from the kerbs and you lose some laptime. 

“I knew I wasn’t really in a fight with Gasly but I was in a good position in P5 and i just wanted it to not brake.”

Teammate Grosjean had been running comfortably in the points but was forced to pit after losing bodywork on the bargeboard area of his Haas mid-way through the race, before ultimately finishing 15th.

Team principal Guenther Steiner revealed the extend of the damage to Grosjean’s car cost him a “safe” ninth or 10th place. 

"He lost some parts on the car. The car was apparently undriveable, he lost a lot of downforce, we can see that. He had to come in and he lost a safe ninth or 10th position. 

“So he was annoyed about that. We need to see if he touched anybody or if he went over the kerbs, what happened there, why we lost it. He was missing some of the bargeboard, the side flaps. The car just lost a lot of downforce.”



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